Thursday, September 3, 2009

PBS Newshour on Hatoyama victory in Japan

Gwen Ifill of PBS's "Newshour" has a good segment on the electoral defeat of the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) at the hands of Yukio Hatoyama's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and what it means for Japan's relationship with the United States and its East Asian neighbors. I myself have some thoughts, but I have a major work project that needs completion before I can get into it.

In a nutshell, as one who would like to see Tokyo and Seoul foster not just a cordial relationship but strong regional ties that border on being a political bloc that can effect political and economic stability in the region, I hope that the role reversal of progressive Seoul and conservative Tokyo into conservative Seoul and progressive Tokyo doesn't lead to wasted opportunities now that issues like Yasukuni Shrine visits and other such issues will probably not be a major factor for the foreseeable future.

This may also be a time when those who have held up Japan as one of the staunchest and loyalist of allies — largely as a way to snap at supposedly ungrateful Seoul during the Roh Moohyun and Kim Daejung administrations — may see their paradigm crumble as a Hatoyama-led Tokyo government seeks the same thing that DJ and especially Roh have tried to attain: an equal-level partnership.

Okinawa may have become Japan's Yongsan.

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